No one envies the homeless people who have to brave the streets this winter but it must also be hard for those who believe they have to dish out tough love.
Now the mother of a 22-year-old drug addict in Cardiff has urged members of the public not to give him money, food or clothes as she believes it will do him more harm than good.
In an interview with Wales Online, the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that instead of helping her son, those giving to him directly are actually prolonging his drug use.
"My son is a drug addict," she said. "Addicts need their fixes by the hour and day. They cannot think long term. They cannot face reality. They take drugs to make them feel better.
"So when you give my son clothes you are keeping him warm for that day and the next. When you give my son food you are feeding him for that day and the next. When you give my son money you are feeding his drug habit for that day and the next."
The woman has explained that her son's life started to go wrong early in his teens when he was given cannabis by older teenagers.
She has said that although she previously helped her son - offering him the money for six months' rent if he goes clean - he will not admit his addiction and refuses to engage with the charity workers trying to help him.
The woman has argued that, like other drug addicts, the man needs to hit 'rock bottom' so he can finally accept help.
"Whilst you are all kindly meeting his short-term fixes you are actually enabling my son to continue using drugs. You are keeping the heat in his body and fuel in his tummy," she said.
"This makes him feel good which then means that he can then go and take his drugs. Drug addicts have to hit rock bottom."
No one envies this mum's plight, which taps into a common problem which makes clear how complex an issue homelessness can be.
Some people argue that withholding money from the homeless is too tough, giving them money simply because they are a human being and what they do with the money is their business alone:
Others agree with the woman in saying that giving the homeless money actually deepens the problem:
At the end of her letter, the mum advised people not to hand out clothes and food but instead donate to local outreach charities who will engage with the homeless directly.
"Whilst you think you could be saving him from dying of starvation or hypothermia you are actually making it more likely that you could be prolonging his drug use and he will die from his drug use," she explained.
"So I ask you all not to just go out and about handing him out clothes and food but to give it to the organisations like the Wallich who have outreach workers who will keep trying to engage with him."
It just demonstrates a moral problem which will go on. WWYD?
Featured Image Credit: PA